When I was a young mother
, bonny blonde babe nursing in pods of similarly suburbanised females in deep and meaningful discussion on the bringing-up of children and preparing them for life, we said thinks like - "I won't let my
child find out about sex
the way I
did" - and - "Frank and open discussion about sex, because it's a beautiful thing
." The conclusion after many Play Centre Morning Teas was to answer any questions concerning sex and reproduction, in a frank and honest way as required. The children would of course, ask the questions as they developed and as they needed to know, so in a completely holistic and natural way, they would learn about sex and reproduction from their parents, and learn that making love and creating life was a truely beautiful thing, thereby ensuring their sexual confidence, freedom and enhancing their close and loving relationship with us, their Parents.
So I was ready, prepared, and slipped into the domestic bliss that is motherhood. Until one day, when my five year old son came out of my room and into the lounge, a condom in one hand and a tampon in the other and asked "What are these for?"
According to the Grand Plan
, I was to explain to my son, that sometimes people used a condom to cover daddy's penis during sex to stop the daddy's sperm after orgasm, from fertilising the mummy's egg, and that the tampon is used by mummy when she has her menstrual bleed every 28 days when her egg hasnt been fertilised by daddy's sperm, using any or all additional sketches
and overhead projector equipment
where required. Unfortuately, best laid plans of mice and men, I went crashing into Improvisaion Mode and screamed, after a moment of stunned silence, "PUT THOSE BACK
IN MY DRAWER AND NEVER
EVER TO INTO MY BEDROOM AGAIN" .... "EVER
" and when he did that I finished with "NOW GO TO YOUR ROOM AND STAY THERE UNTIL I TELL
YOU TO COME OUT".
The first question
my son ever asked me about sex, and I failed to slip into my Nurturing Role as a Bull slips in a China Shop
. I didn't go and talk to him later and explain it was shock and inadequacy that drove me to yell at him, I just pretended it never happened. On with my Life. Until my next parenting test.
This time it was from my second child, a daughter
. After a Sexual Health
talk at school, she leaned elbows on my desk, chin cupped in her hands, golden ringlets
falling about her face "Mum, what if i get the white discharge telling me my period's coming on the day I'm wearing white underwear, and then get my period on the day I'm wearing red underwear. How will I know I have my period?" This wasn't in the Mothering Manual
. In the Manual it explains about ovaries and uterus walls. The Improvisation Mode kicks in and I sharply declare her a stupid girl
and send her to her room.
I have had many many parenting tests over the years, and have blanked out all memory
of the events and consistantly failed to impliment the Grand Plans of those early parenting
discussions. My children are teenagers now, and I send
them regularly to the streets
to learn what they need to learn for life. My mantra
at afternoon teas with mothers of their peers include "I don't care what they do so long as they are happy" and " What I don't know can't hurt me".